A Death Lived with Regret

by Alexis Morgan, author of Immortal Cowboy (Harlequin Nocturne, April 2014)

Sometimes two very different lines of thought come together to inspire a specific story. That’s definitely how it was for IMMORTAL COWBOY.

First, like most people, I have regrets, both about things I wish I’d done and things I wish I hadn’t. Who hasn’t had a secret wish to go back in time and change that one action that haunts you years later? The more I thought about it, I found the concept of retroactive redemption fascinating.

 The second bit of inspiration came one day when I was looking through a book on ghost towns in the West. As I studied the pictures, I tried to imagine the stories those abandoned buildings would tell if they could speak. Who had lived there? Who had built them? And what was the real reason the once-thriving town died? Was it because the gold ran out or perhaps because the railroad chose to bypass that particular spot? Or maybe—just maybe—a tragedy had ultimately destroyed the town.

It was the combination of those two ideas—one person’s need to redeem his past and the death of a town—that came together to give me the idea for the story that became IMMORTAL COWBOY.

As I studied those ghost towns, I could just see a lonely gunslinger prowling those dead and dusty streets, caught up in a cycle of pain and regret that allowed him no peace even though he’d died there over a century ago. He was a man with regrets so powerful that they continue to torment him even beyond the grave. Imagine reliving the worst moment in your life over and over again with no end in sight! That is the reality of Wyatt McCain, whose past haunts him even as he haunts the small mountain valley, which used to be home to the town of Blessing.

Rayanne Allen inherited more than just her uncle’s cabin and the ghost town in the nearby valley. She also shares his sensitivity to the spirits who haunt the mountain and saw the entire tragedy play out right in front of her when she was a young girl. Now she’s back, determined to uncover the truth about what happened in Blessing once and for all.

This was one of those rare times when it seemed as if the two characters were perched right on my shoulder as they told me their story. Both Wyatt and Rayanne were incredibly strong people, determined to do the right thing even at the sacrifice of their love. I liked that about them. I hope you do, too!

I love the whole idea of a love so powerful that it transcends time and even death. Have you ever seen movies or read other books that have that theme?  If so, please share the details! I’d love to hear all about them.

Alexis

 About the Book

Haunted by desire…

When Rayanne’s favourite uncle leaves her a secluded mountain cabin in his will, she feels an instinctive pull to the place—and to the ghost town nearby. But is she drawn there by her love of history? Or by the memory of the mysterious stranger whose ice-blue eyes have haunted her dreams since she was a girl?

She soon discovers that her destiny and the brooding gunslinger’s are intertwined. Wyatt carries the burden of a dark past, and Rayanne is the only woman who can bring him peace. But to give him the release he needs, she may need to sacrifice the most powerful love she’s ever known.

 

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Excerpt: Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham returns to New Orleans in a new suspense novel with a paranormal twist, Waking the Dead. Read on for an excerpt from this gripping tale, available now wherever books and ebooks are sold from Harlequin MIRA.

About the Book

They say a painting can have a life of its own… 

In the case ofGhosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that’s more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, “the year without a summer.” That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art….

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.

Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations.

Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they’ve stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.

Excerpt

THE HOUSE WAS OFF FRENCHMAN STREET, NOT A MANSION AND not derelict. It sat in a neighborhood of middle-class homes from which men and women went to work every day and children went off to school. The yard was well-kept but not overmani-cured; the paint wasn’t peeling, but it was a few years old. In short, to all appearances, it was the average family home in the average family neighborhood. Or had been.

Until a neighbor had spotted the body of the woman on the kitchen floor that morning and called the police. They’d entered the house and found a scene of devastating chaos.

Michael Quinn hadn’t been among the first to arrive. He wasn’t a cop, not anymore. He was a private investigator and took on clients, working for no one but himself. However, he maintained a friendly relationship with the police. It was necessary—and, in general, made life a hell of a lot easier.

It also brought about mornings like this, when Jake Larue, his ex-partner, called him in, which was fine, since he was paid a consultant’s fee for his work with the police…and his personal pursuits could sometimes be expensive.

“You know, Quinn,” Jake said, meeting him outside, “I’ve seen bad times. The days after the storm, gang struggles in our city and the usual human cruelty every cop faces. But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Read more »

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New York City as a Setting

by Elle James, author of Tempting the Demon (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings, April 2014)

Elle JamesI’ve been to New York City several times now, and by no means an expert on all the city has to offer, but I can guarantee there is always an adventure there. My first trip to New York City I can recall sitting on a bench on 5th Ave and staring up at the really tall buildings and the wide avenue and thinking, “Godzilla was really huge!” For the beast to swipe both sides of the street with his tail he had to be really, really big. And if you’re one of those people (like me) who follows the Avenger movies (love, love, love!) the monsters that swept into the city had to be huge too!

But it’s not just the monsters that make NYC a great place to set stories. It’s the atmosphere, the subway, alleys, dark places, Central Park, historic buildings like the Central Library (remember the movie DAY AFTER TOMORROW?) and the people. My sister, Delilah Devlin, and I have an adventure every time we go. From riding the subways to the bicycle rickshaws, to buying knockoff purses in hidden closets in Soho shops. It’s fun, it’s exciting and I love it!

I’ve set all three of my DEMON series in NYC in Manhattan where I’ve created a Paranormal Investigation Team who take on the weird and unusual crimes that happen in Manhattan. My main characters are Katya Danske and Blaise Michaels. They solve the mysteries and struggle with their growing attraction and their own paranormal abilities. And what better place for paranormal creatures to blend in with society than a melting pot like NYC? And did I mention, these books are sexy HOT? Yeah, baby!

This month marks the release of the third book in the series TEMPTING THE DEMON.

Book #1 – HOT DEMON NIGHTS Amazon | Nook

Book #2 – DEMON’S EMBRACE  Amazon | Nook

Book #3 – TEMPTING THE DEMON Amazon | Nook| Kobo

About Tempting the Demon:

Dead demons keep turning up across the city. And it’s up to Katya Danske, member of the NYPD’s Paranormal Investigation Team, to stop whoever—or whatever—is behind the killing. But long, hot nights with her personal demon, sexy Blaise Michaels, are leaving her little energy to concentrate on her job.

Blaise understands Katya’s need for space, but now that he’s claimed her, he refuses to let his mate out of his sight. Not when a soul-sucking succubus and a massive storm threathen to throw the city into chaos. Besides, she needs his help to harness her own newly discovered powers. But can he convince her that the passion that binds them makes them stronger together than they are apart?

Excerpt:

Heat built low in my body, firing synapses and sending electric currents from where his hand touched my hip all the way to my core. The fog of sleep slipped away as my demon’s fingers glided across my abdomen and down to the apex of my thighs.

I shifted, spreading my legs to allow his finger to slip between my folds and stroke that sensory-packed nubbin of pleasure. From dead sleep to heated passion, I awoke. “Hurry,” I whispered.

Blaise Michaels knew how to build the sensations, to guide my body to a fevered pitch. I want you to come with me.

“I want to sleep more before my alarm goes off.”

He withdrew his hand. Sleep, my sweet.

“Really? You stop now and I’ll kill you.” I grabbed his hand and returned it to that spot that was screaming for more attention, more strokes, more…more…more…

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Themes: Author Karen Whiddon on The Wolf Siren

by Karen Whiddon, author of The Wolf Siren (Harlequin Nocturne, April 2014)

karenwhiddonWhen people find out I write shape-shifter romances, very often they make certain assumptions about me.   Like that I might dance naked under the full moon and howl.    Or walk around with a wolf tail sewn onto my clothing.  (Note – these are all actual emails I’ve received over the years!)

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  Though I’ve written many, many books in my popular Pack series for Harlequin Nocturne, I’m really just an ordinary person.  I’ve lived in the same home for twenty years, have been married for twenty-seven, and I volunteer for a Boxer rescue organization.  When I worked at jobs outside of my writing, I was steadfast and loyal, working at one company fifteen years and another thirteen.  I value stability and don’t do well with change.

This may be because as a child, we moved a lot.  I went to two elementary schools, two junior highs, and four high schools.  I hated constantly being the new kid, just when I’d settled into a groove and made friends.

Over the years, I got picked on a lot, bullied too.  I was made fun of because of my accent when we moved from New York to Colorado, for the way I dressed (fashion was totally different in both states), for being too smart, too quiet… the list went on and on.

Years went by, I grew up, married, had a child, divorced, and remarried.  I finally came to realize I was a peace with myself, with who I am.  Now I’m a full time writer, and this aspect of my personality is the prevalent one as it’s my only job.

When people ask how I come up with my stories, it always, always, always begins with a person.  Either the hero or the heroine.  In The Wolf Siren, out this month (April 2014), Kane, who is the hero of this book showed up to help the hero of The Lost Wolf’s Destiny.  In fact, he was such as strong man, he tried to take over the last third of the first book.  I actually had to do rewrites after my critique partner pointed that out!

And my heroine too made an appearance in that last book.  I couldn’t wait to explore her personality, as I could only imagine what such a traumatic past might have done to her.  Kane would be exactly the person to help her heal, and to help her find herself and be comfortable with all aspects of her personality, including the wolf side.

Because see, my wolves, my Pack, are just like you and I.  They are human too, and hurt and bleed and love.  Sure, they can change into a wolf and hunt, but that just gives them an additional dimension.  I truly enjoy writing their stories.  And I hope you enjoy reading them!

About The Wolf Siren

When a werewolf and the beautiful siren he once saved meet again, resistance is futile…

As Pack Protector, Kane McGraw never gets involved with the victims he saves. But Lilly Gideon may be the one exception. She has intrigued him ever since he helped free her from a religious compound called Sanctuary. So when he learns that she’s still in danger, he can’t stay away—not even if it means exposing Lilly to the fanatics she’s trying to escape.

Years of psychological torture have left Lilly without the ability to control her shifter nature. Any man she touches is driven mad by an all-consuming desire. Though she wants Kane more than any man, she’s forced to deny him the release they most crave. That is, until he decides it’s time to take matters—and her—into his own hands….

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The Forever Song Blog Tour: Beginning the Blood of Eden series

horizontal blog tour button_Forever Song

by Julie Kagawa, author of The Forever Song

I’ve told this story a few times, but it’s a fun one, so I’ll tell it again.  Way back in the beginning of my writing career, before I even started The Iron King, I told myself that I wasn’t going to write a vampire story.  This was at the height of the Twilight craze, and there were already so many books about our favorite bloodsuckers, I felt I didn’t have anything new to add.  Instead, I wrote a series about faeries in the modern world, and how progress and technology had spawned a new type of fey, the Iron fey, and how the Iron fey were destroying the lands of the regular fey, and a normal girl named Meghan Chase had to figure out how to save everyone.  The first book in the series, The Iron King, was published by Harlequin TEEN in 2010.  Four books, three novellas, and countless pages later, the series came to a end with The Iron Knight, closing the door on the Iron fey and the adventures of Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, and everyone else in the land of Faery.  Or so I thought at the time.

But this post isn’t about faeries.  It’s about vampires.  Around the time I was finishing up The Iron Knight, the last book in the Iron Fey series, I got a call from my agent.  She wanted to know what was next for me, if I had any ideas for a new book or a new series.  I did.  I told her I’d been thinking about a really dark, post-apocalyptic world where a disease had wiped out nearly everyone and there weren’t many humans left.  I didn’t exactly have, say, a plot, or characters, or what the book was going to be about.  But I knew I wanted to write something a bit darker and bleaker than the Iron Fey, so I asked her what she thought about that.

She said: “Yes, well, that sounds interesting, but what are your thoughts about writing vampires?”

Out loud, I said: “I’ll think about it.”  Inwardly, I was going: Aaaaaagh, noooooooo! *Snarl-hiss makes sign of the cross.*

But, after we got off the phone, I did start to think.  So, on the one hand, I had this cool, dark, post-apocalyptic setting that I really loved.  And on the other, I had vampires.  So, what if I just…

Squashed.

Them.

Together?

And, just like that, the idea for The Immortal Rules was born.  An empty, plague ridden world dominated by vampires, where the remaining humans are kept as blood cattle by the vampire lords and rabid, zombie-like mutants roam the land after dark.  A heroine who is tough, feisty, cynical and, most of all, a survivor.  Who hates the vampires more than anything in the world, but who has her world turned upside down when she is attacked and chooses to Turn rather than die.  And the vampires in this world are not friendly, human loving creatures but true monsters who will rip out a person’s throat without a second thought.  Allison’s journey across a desolate, barren world, and her fight to control the bloodlust inside her, is at the heart of the story, and I’m so glad I decided to ignore my promise never to write about vampires. The Blood of Eden series has been an amazing ride, and I’m sad to see it come to an end. I hope you enjoy the final story, The Forever Song.

***

About The Forever Song:

The Forever Song_CoverVENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

***

Giveaway! The Forever Song combines vampires and a post apocalyptic world. What two genres or settings would you like to see combined? Let us know in the comments to win a copy of The Forever Song.

Giveaway closes April 20 at 11:59pm. One winners will be randomly drawn from the eligible comments and announced on April 21. Open to US/Canada residents. For full contest rules, click here.

***

Follow the rest of the blog tour to get a behind the scenes look at The Forever Song!

Tuesday, April 8th - fiktshun
Wednesday, April 9th - The Page Turners
Thursday, April 10st - Books and Things
Friday, April 11th - Ticket To Anywhere 

Monday, April 14th - Two Chicks on Books 
Tuesday, April 15th - Parajunkee
Wednesday, April 16th - Refracted Light Reviews
Thursday, April 17st - Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, April 18th - Mundie Mom’s 

Monday, April 21th - A Book Obsession 
Tuesday, April 22nd - The Book Cellar
Wednesday, April 23th - Supernatural Snark 
Thursday, April 24st - The Busy Bibliophile 
Friday, April 25th  - Tyngas Reviews

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Stories Born From Norse Mysteries

by Rinda Elliott, author of Foretold (Book 1 of the Sisters of Fate trilogy, Harlequin TEEN)

I’m asked a lot about why I chose Norse mythology for my Sisters of Fate trilogy and the answer isn’t that easy. I’ve always been drawn to Norse mythology—even before I learned my first name originated in the stories. I’ve actually threaded the mythology into a lot of my books. Though never published, years ago I wrote a book called Ian’s Curse about a man cursed to change into a black leopard because of what his Viking ancestors did. (Ironically, this was way before I started working with my critique partner of seven years who is known for her cat shifter books.)

We grow up reading stories about the scary Viking raids. The berserkers. As a teen, I dug deeper into the history books and learned that most of what we knew of those raids was written by terrified priests, so it’s possible the views were a bit one-sided.

But in my research, I found that the Northman’s mythology is rich with wild stories and intrigue. You can spend most of your life digging into them and still learn something new nearly every time you look. There are dark stories of sacrifice, funny stories of trickery, and some that will raise your eyebrows—like the stories of gods or giants born from feet, armpits and spit.

As you read the Sisters of Fate books, you’ll stumble on small things here and there. The number nine had great significance, ravens and wolves—both such big, big parts of the Norse stories. You’ll pick up on reenactments of actual stories…like Thor battling a giant and his son Magni helping by pulling the giant’s leg off Thor’s neck.

As for the actual origin of the Sisters of Fate, the idea for these books came from two real objects. Runestones. There are a few that have been discovered in the United States and how they came to be is a true mystery. Though FORETOLD is actually set around the Heavener Runestone in Oklahoma, I first saw something interesting while researching the Kensington Runestone, which was found in Minnesota.  (You will find runestone as one word and as two. I’ll keep it as one for consistency.) So, what did I find?

King Magnus of Sweden sent a party to Greenland in 1355 and they never returned. This is common knowledge. Where they ended up has sparked a lot of speculation. The Kensington Runestone has the date 1362 carved into it. Though there are arguments about its authenticity, the rough translation is

 Eight Götalanders and 22 Northmen on (this?) acquisition journey from Vinland far to the west. We had a camp by two (shelters?) one day’s journey north from this stone. We were fishing one day. After we came home, found 10 men red from blood and dead. Ave Maria save from evil. There are 10 men by the inland sea to look after our ships fourteen days journey from this peninsula (or island). Year 1362

Ooh, what happened? A battle? An illness? We don’t know.

What does this have to do with FORETOLD, which is set around a completely different runestone? I made the Lockwood triplets descendants of that exploring party.

And in FORETOLD, I made Vanir a descendant of another party of exploring or lost Vikings who possibly came into the Gulf of Mexico and along the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers into Oklahoma.

The Heavener Runestone is this great slab of rock twelve feet high and ten feet wide. Some of the runes carved into it seem to be reversed, so there are several translations like Glome’s Valley or Glomedal. Nomedal is a Norwegian family name, so it could be a marker of some sort. The why and how of these Norse runes is such a fun mystery to contemplate.

So, I had fun with it. I knew the Norse believed in sacred outdoor places, so I took my love of their mythology, the mystery of the runestones, and I added my love of myth and magic. It wasn’t long before the sisters and the future warriors they needed to protect came to life after that.

About the Book

It is written that three Sisters of Fate have the power
to change the world’s destiny.
But only if they survive…
 

The Lockwood triplets have had the prophecy drummed into their heads since birth. Still, Raven, the eldest of the sisters, can’t believe it’s really happening. She’s the reincarnation of a Norse goddess? One of the sisters is destined to die? When it starts snowing in summer in Florida, the sisters fear the worst has come to pass. Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world, has begun.

Raven finds herself the secret protector of Vanir, a boy with two wolves, a knowledge of Norse magic and a sense of destiny he can’t quite explain. He’s intense, sexy and equally determined to save her when it becomes clear someone is endangering them. Raven doesn’t know if getting closer to him will make a difference in the coming battle, but her heart isn’t giving her a choice.

Ahead of the sisters is the possibility of death at the hand of a warrior, death by snow, death by water or death by fire.

Or even from something else…

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New Releases – April 2014

by Amy Loosemore, Harlequin Digital

April showers bring…new books from Harlequin! This month’s paranormal releases include new titles by bestselling authors Heather Graham, Megan Hart and more. Keep reading to discover them all! What will you read this month?

Waking the Dead by Heather Graham (Harlequin MIRA)

They say a painting can have a life of its own…

In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that’s more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, “the year without a summer.” That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art….

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.

Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations.

Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they’ve stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.

Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger (Part of the The Execution Underground series, Harlequin HQN)

Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but at what price?

As an exorcist, David Aronowitz grew up the target of demonic assassins. Now he’s a member of the Execution Underground, and hellspawn everywhere fear his name. But when a demon slips into the seductive body of the only woman he’s ever loved, David must confront the heartbreak of their past to save her.

The piece of her heart Allsún O’Hare gave to David so long ago left her trapped between two worlds: the Fae and the human. And when David comes to her rescue, fate reunites her with her greatest temptation—and her biggest mistake.

Now, as they’re swept together into a wicked game with the demon who controls her, David must decide if saving Allsún’s life is worth sacrificing his own—and the future of humanity itself.

The Wolf Siren by Karen Whiddon (Part of the The Pack series, Harlequin Nocturne)

When a werewolf and the beautiful siren he once saved meet again, resistance is futile…

As Pack Protector, Kane McGraw never gets involved with the victims he saves. But Lilly Gideon may be the one exception. She has intrigued him ever since he helped free her from a religious compound called Sanctuary. So when he learns that she’s still in danger, he can’t stay away—not even if it means exposing Lilly to the fanatics she’s trying to escape.

Years of psychological torture have left Lilly without the ability to control her shifter nature. Any man she touches is driven mad by an all-consuming desire. Though she wants Kane more than any man, she’s forced to deny him the release they most crave. That is, until he decides it’s time to take matters—and her—into his own hands….

Immortal Cowboy by Alexis Morgan (Harlequin Nocturne)

Haunted by desire…

When Rayanne’s favourite uncle leaves her a secluded mountain cabin in his will, she feels an instinctive pull to the place—and to the ghost town nearby. But is she drawn there by her love of history? Or by the memory of the mysterious stranger whose ice-blue eyes have haunted her dreams since she was a girl?

She soon discovers that her destiny and the brooding gunslinger’s are intertwined. Wyatt carries the burden of a dark past, and Rayanne is the only woman who can bring him peace. But to give him the release he needs, she may need to sacrifice the most powerful love she’s ever known.
Read more »

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What Makes Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Irresistible?

Indulge your desire for urban fantasy and paranormal romance with the Harlequin E Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Box Set! We asked our four authors to tell us how they fell in love with their genre, and what makes Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy irresistible.

Lisa Medley, author of Reap & Repent

0314_eShivers_Boxset_flatI’ve been in love with monsters for a long time, since I first started reading Stephen King ages ago. But it was J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover which made me realize monsters in LOVE were even better. That book sent my imagination reeling. I don’t discriminate. I want love for vampires, shifters, witches and of course, reapers.

The dark hero speaks to me, and when I find him in the shadows, it’s my job to bring him into the light, sometimes kicking and screaming. Reading urban fantasy and paranormal romance makes me crave contact with the things that go bump in the night. Don’t fear the reaper, because reapers need love too.

 

Misty Simon, author of Wicked Ink

Who doesn’t like a tall, dark stranger, or even a fair-haired one? And if they have supernatural powers? Phew! Pour me a tall glass of sweet tea!

One of my favorite things about paranormal romance is the otherworldly things you can write and also read. Your imagination truly is the limit with the inclusion of powers, witches, and things that go bump in the night. I have three books shelves filled with tomes of lore, legends, mythology and the otherworldly. There is just something about thinking there is more out there than meets the eye.

I fell in love with the genre in a library when I was about eleven. I’d read Sweet Valley High, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, but I really wanted something that was completely different. And I got it when I picked up a book with witches and werewolves and ghosts. I was fascinated by the thought of beasties that prowled in the night, super powers that could help you do anything and everything, and shifters made from the meekest of men. I devoured so many books that summer my mom had to force me to go play outside. Even out in the backyard, though, I looked for flying bats that changed into vampires and made capes from sheets while I used my laser vision to look into the chicken coop.

I love that Harlequin has put together this box set because you get a taste of so many of the wonderful branches of this fascinating genre.

Neely Powell, author of Witch’s Awakening

We met as fledgling romance writers, became friends, and decided to try co-writing. Our friendship endured. The collaboration? Not so much.

0314_eShivers_BoxsetFor years, we searched for the missing element in our joint efforts. Meanwhile, we devoured fiction about vampires, werewolves, shifters, ghosts, demons, and witches. We discussed hauntings, monsters, urban legends, and myths for hours on end. We both had question about the supernatural. So why were we surprised when this interest finally produced a collaboration we both loved and others wanted to read? Duh!

Characters living in both the human and the supernatural worlds intrigue us as writers and readers. These characters hold jobs, buy groceries, fall in love. Meanwhile, they can shift into cats, or cast spells, or lives for hundreds of years. How cool is that? The paranormal elements are rich fictional territory we hope to mine together for a long time.

Naomi Bellina, author of Her Wild Protector

I look around at a perfectly normal situation and ask, What if? What if that person going about their business is not who they seem? What if suddenly something strange happens and life takes a turn for the bizarre? Off goes my mind on a wild ride. When I write, I take you along with me. Why shape shifters? I think we all have an animal inside us waiting to be unleashed.

Why romance? Life is better with love. If it’s a little strange at times, all the better!

 

Why do you love Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy?

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Dream a Little Dream: Q&A with Megan Hart

New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart‘s scintillating paranormal romance Dream a Little Dream hits ebook shelves April 1, and Megan was kind enough to answer a few our burning questions before its release! Read on to learn more about the dream world in Dream a Little Dream, her favorite paranormal authors and what Megan has in store for readers next!

What inspired you to come up with Ephemeros, the land of dreams?

To be honest, the idea of the Ephemeros came about quite a number of years ago (I wrote about it in Exit Light, available from Carina!)  So I can’t quite remember exactly where the idea came from, other than the idea of lucid dreaming has always fascinated me. The movie Dreamscape influenced my concept of the Ephemeros. So did the film Brainstorm. Probably lots of things inspired me!

Who would you cast as Mariella and Butler in Dream a Little Dream? 

Ooh. Hmm. That’s often a tough question. My favorite actors and actresses don’t always fit the characters in my stories. I’d have to go with some really talented unknowns. Haha!

What is the most memorable dream you’ve ever had? 

I’m lucky in that I dream every night, in color, and usually remember my dreams. I can also lucid dream, on occasion, which means I know I’m dreaming and can control what’s happening. So the most memorable dream could be a nightmare, though, simply because waking up in terror tends to leave a scar! I once dreamed an entire rock opera about vampires that had overtaken the world, and I had to live underground, and I was running to get to my escape hatch before the sun went down, but the lyrics and melody to the songs were fully fleshed out in the dream. Unfortunately, I can’t read or write music, so I had no way to write it down.

What are you working on now or what other books are coming out soon? 

I’m writing a contemporary erotic romance in serial format, and I’ll be working on a full novel length erotic fiction, as well as another mainstream novel. My next erotic fiction, Flying, comes out very soon, and so will Lovely Wild, a mainstream fiction novel!

What are some of your favorite paranormal books or authors?

Clive Barker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, Douglas Clegg, Adam Neville…

 

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Do You Like Suspense with Your Paranormal Reads?

You probably know that Harlequin publishes all kinds of romantic suspense books — and obviously paranormal ones, too! Did you know that you can also find books that combine both paranormal elements AND suspense plots?

This month on Harlequin.com, we’re highlighting all kinds of romantic suspense and mystery books for any mood, from pulse-pounding, sexy rom suspense to cozy mysteries…and yes, paranormals! Here are three books, clipped from our romantic suspense theme chart, that will satisfy your craving for otherworldly romantic suspense. To see the complete chart with more categories and book recommendations, click here.

Romantic Suspense - paranormalAbout Wake to Darkness by Maggie Shayne (A Brown and De Luca Novel):

Rachel de Luca’s uncanny sense of perception is the key to her success as a self-help celebrity. Even before she regained her sight, she had a gift for seeing people’s most carefully hidden secrets. But the secret she shares with Detective Mason Brown is one she has promised to keep. As for Mason, he sees Rachel more clearly than she’d like to admit.

After a single night of adrenaline-fueled passion, they have agreed to keep their distance—until a string of murders brings them together again. Mason thinks that he can protect everyone he loves, including Rachel, by taking them to a winter hideaway, but danger follows them up the mountain.

As guests disappear from the snowbound resort, the race to find the murderer intensifies. Rachel knows she’s a target. Will acknowledging her feelings for Mason destroy her—or save them both and stop a killer?

About Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham:

An Object of Desire? Or of Fear? 

It was stolen from a New Orleans grave—the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It’s an object desired by collectors and by those with wickedness in their hearts.

One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty’s antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears and the owner is found dead….

Michael Quinn, former cop and now private investigator, is determined to find and destroy this object with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death. He and Danni are drawn together in their search for the missing statue, following it through sultry New Orleans nights to hidden places in the French Quarter and secret ceremonies on abandoned plantations.

But Cafferty and Quinn know that their story won’t end when this case is closed and the dead rest in peace once again.

About Bridal Jeopardy by Rebecca York (part of the Mindbenders series):

P.I. Craig Branson finds himself falling for a woman he should be staying far away from 

Love at first sight can’t begin to describe the attraction detective Craig Branson feels when he locks eyes with gorgeous Stephanie Swift. It’s more powerful, passionate and deeply emotional than anything he’s ever felt. But the P.I. is in New Orleans to track down a killer…not to have a fling.

Still, he can’t resist the intense sexual pull he feels the first time he kisses Stephanie. He’ll risk everything to rescue her from her rich, possessive fiancé. Taking her on the run, Craig faces danger from two relentless pursuers—one who would expose the secret of their bond…and one who would keep him from his soul mate forever.

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